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It’s obvious when you hear a genius playing. He’s just something else, she’s radically true to herself, they are unique. Sergio Tiempo is one of those incredible players but alas, as a true Argentinian he has a taste for challenge, for the extremes, and that can be as delightful as it is dangerous…

He engaged tonight in a “tour de force” where he played pieces from very different styles and authors. I keep wondering if he preferred so many small pieces to show his versatility (how cocky and incredible is it to let the audience choose the most difficult part of the programme?), or if he just wanted to have lots of applause… anyway it was a beautiful selection that kept us thrilled throughout the concert.

(Pic’s source © Ana Samoilovich)

From the whole programme the piece I enjoyed most was Beethoven’s Appassionata. I had never heard it with so many contrasts, with such a delicate study of intensity, troubled spirit, rhapsody, dynamics and attacks. It was really delightful. Really outside tradition, too; but as a real genius, Tiempo delivered his own interpretation of the piece, his own approach and version. And I really loved it, it had been long since someone had made me enjoy a piece’s intricacies so much. And also the extreme changes, that felt like coming from deep inside him, so fitting for the troubled spirit of Beethoven.

Even the super-fast tempos that he chose sometimes were fitting in the Appasionata. However, he pushed them in other pieces where that extreme approach wasn’t as enjoyable. Chopin’s études felt rushed, and he didn’t concentrate properly for Piazzola or Prokofiev, too intent in pushing out his passion outbursts.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. He was amazing too in Debussy, Villa-Lobos and especially in Ginastera, where he was visited by his muse again -and she stayed to finish the concert with an absolutely delicious Chopin Prélude 4 and a Venezuelan Joropo as encores.

If only he could balance his performance and be steadier! -you’d think, you’d wish… ah, but then he wouldn’t be himself and I wouldn’t like him as much as I did tonight. Thanks for your daring attitude Mastro Tiempo, never boring, never perfect, so many times brilliant!

By the way, Maestro Jobim, how much of Chopin’s Prélude 4 is there in Insensatez?

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